I spent last Saturday afternoon sweating in the garden – which I have to admit, was much neglected by me over the winter, and so well overdue for some TLC. Spring has well and truly sprung here in the southern hemisphere and summer is just around the corner. The flipside of this is, for our many members in the northern hemisphere, it’s now fall with winter rapidly approaching.
A change in season often gives us pause for reflection – in many different ways. Years ago when working in the hydraulic repair business, we’d look forward to the summer as our busiest time of the year. The long, hot Australian summer stresses hydraulic equipment in a similar way to which a sudden and severe heat wave can take its toll on the young and elderly. Just like people, equipment that worked just fine in the cooler months can start having trouble or pack it in completely!
It seems to me a lot of hydraulic equipment owners and operators aren’t aware of, or sufficiently tuned-in to, the influence seasonal changes can have on the performance and reliability of their machines. And so they don’t make any allowances or adjustments. Oh sure, in a perfect world, every piece of hydraulic equipment under the sun would work flawlessly year round. But that’s not how it is in the real world.
So if you’re in the southern hemisphere now is a good to time to blow the cobwebs (and everything else) out of the heat exchanger’s core. And dig out your heat gun, replace the batteries and take a few temperatures to see what’s what.
If you’re closer to the north pole than the equator, now is a good time to start thinking about low-temperature oil viscosity; a possible change to a lighter weight oil – or an ‘all seasons’ multigrade; that the oil is dry, (ice in the hydraulic tank is not a good look) and if appropriate, make sure the tank heater still works.
Bottom line: failing to consider the effects of seasonal changes on your maintenance strategy can be a costly mistake. And to discover 6 other costly mistakes you want to be sure to avoid with your hydraulic equipment, get “Six Costly Mistakes Most Hydraulics Users Make… And How You Can Avoid Them!” available for FREE download here.